Speakers call for implementation of Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance

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HELP Advocacy Seminar

Speakers call for implementation of Protection
of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance

KARACHI: A Seminar on Implementation and Monitoring of ‘Sindh Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance’-Saving Newborn Lives by Early Initiation of Breastfeeding and Exclusive Breastfeeding was held at a local hotel here recently. It was organized by Health Education Literacy Programme (HELP) and was attended by doctors and pediatricians, government officials, media, faculty from medical universities, and representatives of Civil Service Organizations working in various communities of Sindh.
Prof. Dr. Durre Samin Akram Chairperson HELP, explained about the Implementation of the Ordinance on Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition. She informed that Rules and Regulations are to be finalized by the Infant feeding Board (IFB). The main functions of IFB includes receiving reports on any violation, planning and co-ordination and dissemination of information and educational material and giving technical advice to the government on policies for protection of Breastfeeding, Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF). She also discussed the penalties, which says that if any manufacturer or distributor who contravenes the provisions shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of two years or with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees or more than five hundred thousand rupees or both. Any person who contravenes any other provisions or Rules of the Ordinance, shall be punishable with a fine up to five hundred thousand rupees, she added.
Professor Fehmina Arif, from Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), emphasized the importance of implementation of the Ordinance on Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition. She said that in a study, among exclusive breastfeeding practices in South Asia, Pakistan is at number 5 (37%), whereas Sri Lanka is number 1 (76%). She also informed that 2.5 lac lives of newborns can be saved, if breastfed in the first hour of birth, which means a decrease of 22% in neonatal mortality rate.
Dr. Durr-e-Shahwar Khan, Director, Nutrition Cell, Government of Sindh presented the follow up of the legislation after 14th February 2013, when it was unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly. Dr Mallick Maroof Imam, Project Coordinator HELP discussed the role of decision makers and influencers on Implementation and Monitoring of ‘The Sindh Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Act, 2013’. He said that the authorized Board should encourage the regular monitoring of the law and ensure that violators are penalized. He also asked influencers like GPs, Pediatricians, Obstetricians, media persons and civil society to play their due role towards implementation of the Rules of the Ordinance
Dr. Naseer Solangi, from DG office, Dept. of Health, Government of Sindh, expressed his views and elaborated on the steps being taken by the Govt. Dr. Ejaz Khanzada, from Dept. of Health, Govt. of Sindh, also shared his views. Dr Yasmeen Suleman, Senior Programme Manager, HELP moderated the question answer session. Ms Faiza Shafiq, welcomed the guests.

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